Which is the favorite food of the Cardinals? FAQ Resolved By BirdFeederist

People are always looking for different ways to attract cardinals to enhance the beauty of their gardens. These are the beautiful birds that can increase the natural beauty of any garden. There are different ways of attracting the cardinals in the garden, including cardinal feeders, nesting material, bathing trays, and many other different ways.

But the most important thing to attract the maximum number of cardinals in the garden is the use of their favorite food. Their favorite food includes different types of food, nuts, and fruit as well. You can use this type of food to attract the maximum number of cardinals in your garden.

favorite food of the Cardinals
the favorite food of the Cardinals

Different favorite foods of the cardinals

We will discuss the different favorite foods of the cardinals to make it easier for you to attract them to the garden. Let’s see the cardinal’s favorite foods.

1. Seeds

Seeds are the favorite food of the cardinals. Like many other birds, cardinals also love to eat different kinds of seeds. Their beaks are powerful, which enables them to enjoy different types of seeds. Moreover, the larger jaw muscles of the cardinals are also beneficial as compared to any other birds. The cardinals’ most loving seeds are coneflower seed, safflower seed, sunflower seed, and sweet pea seed. You can also use these plants in your garden to add more beauty and attraction to the garden. The main feature of these seeds is that the other unwanted audience mostly dislikes them.

2. Berries

Berries come second in the most favorite list of the cardinals. Cardinals love to eat a lot of berries as well. Cardinals are non-migrating birds, so they enjoy a variety of other fruits as well. Studies also suggest that the cardinals like fruits with bigger seeds as compared to smaller seed fruits. But when you use the fruit to attract the cardinals, make sure not to leave it for a longer time because it can change the fruit’s taste. This can be more discouraging for the cardinals. You can also try the dogwood, hackberry, northern bayberry, and serviceberry to attract the cardinals.

3. Red fruit

Red fruit is another way to attract cardinals to the garden. It is also observed that the vivid crimson color in the cardinals comes from the red fruits. Eating a lot of red food helps the male cardinal to get a brighter color. This brighter color is helpful for any male to attract the female to make pare. The different favorite red fruits of the cardinals include hawthorn, raspberry, sumac, and winterberry. You can use this type of fruit to attract cardinals, especially male cardinals.

4. Caterpillars

Different types of insects can also attract the maximum number of cardinals because many cardinal parents love to feed their babies with various insects. These insects are delicious for any young baby to build strong muscles quickly. The most favorite insect by the babies is a soft body caterpillar. You can use the caterpillars to attract the cardinals. Usually, the cardinals eat the plant food at the maximum time of the year. But in the summer season, their usual food is a different kind of insect. So you can also plant the insects loving plants in your garden to attract the insects in your garden for the cardinals. These plants include the dill, fennel, hollyhock, mustard greens, and snapdragon plants.

5. Water                                                                          

Water is another good food source for attracting the cardinals, especially in the summer season. Because during the summer season, birds need fresh water to maintain their health. A fresh drinking water source with some other kind of food can be the most attractive for the birds. Moreover, you can also provide fresh water to the cardinals for bathing. A freshwater source is also essential in the winter season because it’s challenging to find water in the winter season.

Did you know? What does it mean when you see a cardinal?

3 Most loving seeds by the Cardinals

As we have discussed above, seeds are the favorite food of the cardinals. They love to eat different kinds of seeds with their sharp beak. The most loving seeds by the cardinals are sunflower and safflower seeds. Let’s discuss these seeds more.

  • The first one is sunflower seeds. There are two types of sunflower seeds, which include the Black-oil-sunflower and striped sunflower. When we talk about the black oil sunflower, it is the favorite sunflower seed by many bird species. Moreover, it is an inexpensive kind of birdseed, which is usually found in many bird feeders. The second kind of sunflower is the striped sunflower. This seed is more significant in size as compared to the first one. Cardinals love to eat the bigger seeds. The considerable advantage of this seed is that it is discouraging for other birds.
  • The second most favorite seeds by the cardinals are the safflower seeds. Safflower love to enjoy these seeds. Moreover, these seeds are also less attractive to other unwanted birds.
  • The third kind of seeds is nothing new; it’s just a mixture of sunflower and safflower seeds. You can use the mix of these two seeds to attract the maximum number of cardinals in the garden because cardinals love to enjoy different kinds of seeds from one feeder.


From all the above discussion, we can conclude that cardinals love to eat different kinds of food depending upon their age, mood, and weather. But the essential food for the cardinals is the seeds, especially the seeds of the sunflower and safflower. You can use these seeds in your feeder to attract the maximum number of cardinals in your garden.


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